By Betsy Rothstein - 03/05/08 06:36 PM EST
Barry Cooper — yes, he of the marijuana DVDs “Never Get Busted Again” and “Never Get Raided” — could be on his way to Washington.
But he is not coming to promote his videos, which provide viewers with pointers on how to transport and grow marijuana without getting caught by the cops. Cooper is challenging Republican Rep. John Carter (Texas) in this year’s congressional elections.
Cooper, running as a Libertarian, will focus on criminal justice reform, family court reform and public school reform, according to the “Never Get Busted Again” website, which appears to double as his campaign site.
Everyone else, however, will likely focus on his colorful past: His jobs have included used-car salesman, preacher and narcotics police officer. News accounts say Cooper also once owned a cage-fighting league in Texas.
“It’s my mission to make sure these good, real American people who have families and children do not make a stupid mistake by hiding a small amount of a substance that is impossible to overdose on in the wrong location and ultimately … [wind] up in a government cage,” Cooper says in a preview of his “Busted” video posted on the website.
The 38-year-old says he is a regular pot smoker but declines to say how often he smokes, calling such questions “personal.” His transformation from drug-busting agent to legalization advocate came through “a process of growing up” in which he concluded that the drug helps more than it hurts.
Meanwhile, organizations in Washington that might otherwise ally with Cooper were cool to his candidacy.
Carter, a former state district judge, couldn’t resist alluding to his opponent’s unique personal history.
“There could not be a more clear difference between Mr. Cooper and myself when it comes to law and order, but I don’t see this election ever turning into a cage match,” he said.
Daschle hailed as Mr. VP at book party
Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) served as both majority leader and minority leader before his defeat in 2004, but he could preside over the entire Senate next year.
He’s being mentioned as a likely running mate for Barack Obama should the Illinois senator win the Democratic presidential nomination. If Democrats win back the White House in November, he would become president of the Senate.
Daschle was reminded of his potential political resurrection last week while signing copies of his new book, Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.
Progressive talk show host Bill Press greeted him as “Mr. Vice President,” as he signed his book at a reception, which was hosted by former Fannie Mae Chairman Jim Johnson at his Georgetown residence.
Noting that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) was standing nearby, Daschle told Press, “Byron just said the same thing.”
Beagle lover lawmaker gives thumbs-up to Westminster Dog Show
Uno the Beagle has gotten a lot of press attention lately after becoming the first Beagle to win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.
No one in Congress was prouder than Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine), who owned his Beagle, Peta, for 12 years before she passed away a year and a half ago. Peta, named by Allen’s daughter, Kate, is an Indian word meaning “little fire.”
(There is no relation to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.)
“Beagles make wonderful, exuberant pets,” Allen said, explaining that the family hasn’t gotten another Beagle because his attentions have been focused on his Senate campaign.
“We might if it was a little more mellow. She wasn’t mellow,” he noted of Peta. “She was full of energy. She was a great dog and we loved her.”
Reps. Bono Mack and Mack confuse press release readers
With the recent nuptials of Reps. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) and Connie Mack (R-Fla.) has come the merging of names that could confuse avid readers of dry congressional press releases.
In a release this week concerning the newly launched America Supports You Caucus, the headline reads, “Reps. Bono Mack, Boyd, Schiff, Mack Launch New America Supports You Caucus.” Bono Mack and Mack are among four co-chairmen of the 25-member caucus.
Bono, who was previously married to Palm Springs businessman Glenn Baxley, never added on a husband’s surname until now.
“They’re married and Congresswoman Bono Mack chose to take Congressman Mack’s last name. That is appropriate and what they decided was right for them,” said Stephanie DuBois, spokeswoman for Mack.
Asked if the name blend would ever pose a conflict on a press release if the couple disagrees on an issue, DuBois replied, “I don’t think it’s a concern. I think it’s pretty easy to distinguish between Bono Mack and Mack. That’s never been a problem. I don’t think it will be.”
Nationals treat Senate Gallery aide’s son like VIP
Jim Saris, media coordinator for the Senate Press Gallery, journeyed to Viera, Fla., last week hoping to watch his son Jimmy pitch in the Georgetown University baseball team’s exhibition game against the Washington Nationals last Thursday.
It turned out the younger Saris was held out of the game so he could pitch in the opener of the 60th annual Rollins College Baseball Week on Saturday. That may have been a good thing, because it meant his dad didn’t have to watch him get manhandled like the rest of the Georgetown University pitchers as the Hoyas lost 15-0 to the Nats.
“He was disappointed, but he and his teammates were treated like VIPs,” said his father. Saris noted that the Hoyas got to use the Nats’ clubhouse, have lunch with them, and meet with Manager Manny Acta.
“It was a class act on the part of the Nats,” Saris said.